Stuart doesn't rule out new Origin faces - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Stuart doesn't rule out new Origin faces

By Laine Clark 11/05/2005 07:44:26 PM Comments (0)

Experience will be NSW rugby league coach Ricky Stuart's guide for finalising his Blues team - but the rookie Origin mentor has not ruled out throwing a "new face" into The Cauldron next week.

Stuart has made no secret that the NSW team for the much-anticipated Origin series opener against Queensland at Brisbane on Wednesday week will be based on successful past Blues outfits.

But Stuart - who takes over from good friend Phil Gould this year - has not ruled out throwing in some surprises in his first Origin tilt.

"I am not afraid of picking a new face, a player that hasn't got Origin experience and is young and is showing great ability in his club footy," Stuart said.

While Stuart will pick his NSW team from a 30-strong squad named last Monday, it is believed only three vacancies - a wing and two bench spots - are left for game one after 14 berths were snapped up by incumbent or experienced Origin campaigners.

Stuart on Wednesday addressed his huge squad at the SCG, saying each member had a chance of selection - but he would not speculate on his Origin I side's make-up.

"I won't be making any number up. There are a few players that are guaranteed their spots but there are a number of spots available for other players to push their case for this weekend," he said.

"Experience is one thing but form and the player that can adapt to the style of game I want to play will probably outweigh that.

"I don't want to speculate on positions, but you can certainly believe that there are positions there."

Stuart will take interest in two NRL matches in particular - St George Illawarra v Penrith on Friday night and Saturday's Bulldogs v Manly clash.

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